NEW YORK — President Obama’s health plan should be rechristened “The Unaffordable Care Act.” Precisely as ObamaCare’s critics predicted, the officially titled Affordable Care Act is no bargain for taxpayers or patients.
Obama signed this measure on March 23, 2010. Less than two years later, its original $940 billion, 10-year price tag is in tatters. As the Congressional Budget Office re-forecast Tuesday, this program will cost $1.76 trillion through Fiscal Year 2022. This is an 87 percent overrun, not even 24 months into this boondoggle. At this rate, the Unaffordable Care Act may do for medicine what the Big Dig did for public works.
How did this initiative deteriorate so quickly?
“The books have been severely cooked,” explains House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R – Wisconsin). As devious Democrats concocted ObamaCare in 2009, they delayed its full implementation until 2014. Hence, back-loaded expenses mainly filled the final six years of CBO’s 10-year analysis of the bill’s costs, from (FY 2010 – 2019.) As they pile-dived ObamaCare down America’s collective throat, Democrats thus lied about how delicious it was, at just below $1 trillion.
CBO’s latest valuation now reflects two more fat years of this contraption in full operation. Gross costs for FY 2021 and ’22 equal $250 billion and $265 billion, respectively. This clearer picture nearly doubles the Unaffordable Care Act’s advertised price. Soon, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) frets, “the Democrats’ health care law is certain to top more than $2 trillion.”
The now-defunct Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act is a key reason for the Unaffordable Care Act’s unaffordability.
Even before it passed Congress, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D – North Dakota) called this long-term-care provision “a Ponzi scheme of the first order, the kind of thing Bernie Madoff would be proud of.” As Medicare’s chief actuary, Richard Foster, concluded: “Thirty-six years of actuarial experience lead me to believe that this program would collapse in short order and require significant federal subsidies to continue.”
Indeed, the Obama Administration last October dismissed CLASS as unworkable — along with its $86 billion in anticipated deficit reduction.
The Unaffordable Care Act should sicken taxpayers, and patients, too.
“The President said that by enacting this healthcare law, every family would save $2,500 per year,” Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) recalled at a March 7 Appropriations Committee hearing. “The Kaiser Family Foundation has already released a study saying that average costs of family healthcare plans are up $2,200,” Johnson added. “We’re already different by $4,700; it’s going to be hard to get us down to $2,500 cost savings.”
Also, CBO expects an additional four million Americans to lose their employer-provided coverage, as managers choose fines over premiums on even costlier, Obama-approved health plans. As the Ways and Means Committee found, “This will force hardworking Americans to purchase government-mandated insurance in government-run exchanges or pay a penalty.”
As the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein observed Tuesday, the Unaffordable Care Act will drive at least 39 million people into the loving arms of the state. By 2022, Klein wrote, “three million fewer people will have health insurance through their employers, while 17 million Americans will be added to Medicaid, and 22 million will get coverage through government-run exchanges.”
Most amazing, CBO states: “More are expected to be uninsured.” While the Unaffordable Care Act will cover many Americans who lack insurance, that number is shrinking. This law, CBO calculates, “will reduce… the number of uninsured people by two million less than previously estimated.” For all of its profligacy and intrusiveness, come 2022, ObamaCare still will leave 27 million Americans without health insurance.
Next Nov. 6, the American people can jettison this rubbish by dumping every available Democrat on Capitol Hill who enacted it. (Congressional Republicans wisely and unanimously rejected this legislative malpractice.) As for the con man who signed the Unaffordable Care Act, Barack Obama cannot be frog-marched back to Chicago swiftly enough.